tv [untitled] CSPAN April 4, 2010 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT
the finance committee when we were on staff, and there were people like abe, and russell long, herman talmadge, jack heinz, people who have long histories with the institution. is that the difference today? i do not honestly know the answer. i think we are struggling to figure that out. >> let's open it up to your questions and answers. we have a question. if you would raise your hand. i know somebody here has a question tonight. if we could get a microphone over here? >i will threaten everyone. i have plenty of other questions, but this is your time. >> i understand senator dole and tom daschle worked on a solution to [inaudible] >> interestingly enough,
president obama has now three or four times or the last couple of weeks or referenced the proposal that senator dole and tom daschle and howard baker and george mitchell put together. we worked on it over a year ago. we released it last june. it has the support of all four of them, although mitchell had got off to solve the middle east. . .
new mandates on business. they agreed to a number of preventive services, to a variety of things that essentially expose all of them to the opposite points of view. but essentially was a package that would have made major improvements. they did all the insurance reforms, some expansion of medicaid, some changes to the medicare program, both expansions as well as constraints. again, it has been out there. obama has referred to it a number of times. i have met with people on the house and senate side. there is some suggestion, and my guess is the three may do another op-ed piece. suggesting everyone stand down,
back, and come back together, open-minded to changes. but the three of them were able to once again, across those barriers. >> one of the things that amazes me that i would like to ask you guys about -- i have been here five years. the thing that blows my mind is to hear senator dole is 86 now. i look forward to playing golf and stuff like that when i'm 86. since i have been at havedole institute, he has gotten the french legion of honor award, taken as big role in the health- care debate, when to normandy with the president this past june, it took the lead on the world war ii memorial, and got that dedicated. he was involved --
>> you know, the thing you talk about the world war ii museum, my friends eyes light up when he goes to meet veterans at the fly-ins, these honor flights. that is what motivates him, got on a saturday and meet these flights. he is in the hospital at the moment. but if you talk with him, that is what causes his eyes to live up right now. >> i think he has done 60 of those flights, met them at the memorial, and shaking their hands. i had the privilege to go with him to normandy this time, as well as at the 50th anniversary, both of which were remarkable experiences. we walked into the amphitheater at normandy on the 50th anniversary, and were all waiting for the heads of state to arrive. it was largely filled with
american veterans, obviously. some thousands in number. you could hear, as he perched, you could hear them respond. q could hear them say, here he is. -- as he approached. it was dole who had arrived. today when we were in normandy saw the same kind of connection between him and that generation. rod is correct. it is remarkable to see him play goes to the memorial to greet these veterans and thank them for their service. we saw senator dole friday. he has been a walter reed for a period of time now. he cares most about making sure every veteran is the chance to see the memorial.
it is quite remarkable. >> most of those achievements show that his drive for public service has not abated. it is only a different form. it is less public. it has not abated in the least. >> he still wants to talk about policy. listen to him go through the races. that was on friday. >> we have a question here. >> trying to connect some dots here. senator dole's military service, we have talked about his sympathy. he has a very natural, authentic empathy with the so- called common man. i'm wondering if a large part of that goes back to the military service? and then having been the beneficiary of some much support
from public and private sources in his rehabilitation? when we looks at the situation today in congress and elsewhere, it seems there is no common denominator of service that young, middle-aged people have shared. what tom brokaw refers to as the british nation, there's that extraordinary common denominator. guys in their 80s and 90s are still going to have reunions of units. they're able to talk across what ever part of their head has the rush limbaugh or other tapes tracking. i'm wondering if you might comment. perhaps even some sort of government service for all young
people, whether military, peace corps, civilian corps. >> that factor of service, particularly world war ii service for a lot of the senators that were of that generation that we saw was a common bond. it is less common now. it was interesting when senator sole was engaged in his search for vice-president, and looking by and large a younger generation, he had a preference for people with military service. i would say the majority he looked at did not have that kind of service. he was particularly interested in governor rich who had been a vietnam veteran. -- gov. ridge.
he was not ready to be considered at that point, but it was interesting to me when he said he would have a preference for someone who have had service, and when we started looking at the candidates it was not that common bond you are referring to. there were three members to serve with who had all been in the same hospital. danny, and himself. what are the odds they would all become united states senators? >> and play bridge together, and take care of one another. in fact, the two have that special relationship they came from the common experience.
>> one thing that always found remarkable, in the course of his political campaigns at public events and town meetings is one of his standard things to do was to ask every audience member who was a veteran to stand up and be recognized. that may have been one of the few times they were publicly recognized. you can see the pride not only in his service, but in the other people introduced. i thought that was a great thing. >> we have a question from former senator, chief of staff back here. >> yes, i would be interested in your observations, particularly sheila on his relationship with
the other principal leaders of congress. i think probably jim, tom, and another were speakers. >> and tip. >> and byrd, and mitchell. how they differed. >> let me begin in the senate. he and senator byrd who was the democratic leader when senator dole was elected, had a remarkably close relationship. it would not appear obvious. they had very different backgrounds. ages, generations. what both recognized was the remarkable respect for the institution. they were able to talk with one
another. senator byrd is a very formal person, felt strongly about the role of members as opposed to staff. senator dole was very respectful of senator byrd and his history in the senate. one made a mistake to think that senator byrd was anything other than remarkable master of the rules of the senate, because he was. their relationship to the point where senator byrd stepped down was quite positive. his relationship with mitchell who was much younger, very different, more aggressive and outspoken as a leader for the democrats at the time, was also remarkably strong. they made an agreement as i noted early on, that they would never surprise one another. we had a weekly if not more frequent lee meetings, where we would quietly -- the between offices. dole always good to someone
else's office. it was never one of these, you come to me, i am in charge. he would always make the effort. we would go down to senator mitchell's office. my counterpart in that office was a woman named martha pope. the four of us would sit there and discuss problems. talk about the things we could get done. dole would occasionally go to the senate cloakroom where the floors managed. each party has a cloak room. the bills will be considered, if you have objections -- or if there are any particular issues. every once in awhile dole would make the recording himself. you could see the phones light up. he was on the phone telling people what they would do. it was because he and senator mitchell had decided these were the things they would get done.
the two of them had a good relationship. tom-show, they ultimately became partners together at a law firm. there were not together for long, but very respectful. -- that was tom daschle. but very partisan where they needed to be, but respectful. an open and candid relationship. with the house, little experience with jim wright, and now long experience with tip o'neill. but similarly, senator dole would go to the other side, not often. we have enough to say grace over in our own body without having to manage the other body, but it was a distant, respectful relationship. he recognized to o'neill as ever remarkable politician. -- he recognized tip o'neill as a remarkable politician. he had a similar respect for
another. they had known one another in the house. michael had been in the minority for so long that it was very challenging. very challenging for the republicans in the house then. he and newt gingrich had suddenly a challenging relationship. -- certainly a challenging relationship. [laughter] i remember that we were on the receiving end of the contract for america for the worshiping bills to the senate, many of which never left the senate. very different approaches. it was kind of the young turks commit to the house. but there was a tension in the house because they had been in the minority for so long.
there was a backlash has that changed. both sides are coming to a new reality. in every case, senator dole had cordial and productive relationships with all those members. some are more challenging than others. with his senate colleagues, there were quite candid, open, but where they needed to be he and mitchell could go at it on the floor. personally, they had and still do have a very good relationship. >> i think that we have time for one last question. >> you made reference to senator role been in what to read. i have wondered about the status of his health and the last few months. >> i saw him last on friday and
spent a lot of time talking about politics. he had some knee surgery done. he was having problems with both knees. it was quite successful. he was going to work every day. he got back to work after the surgery, but then had some infection issues. they have been tried to manage that at the hospital. he will get back, again. he still wants to return to work. i expect him to be back in his office. he must remind him that he is not 25 anymore. the recovery from the serious of things is not quick or easy. he was in great spirits when we saw him. >> thank you very much for a
wonderful discussion. [applause] off we thank you all for joining us tonight. next tuesday night we will have the former speaker of the california assembly, former mayor of san francisco, willie brown. it will be fascinating. then a week after that we will have richard baker, the recently-retired historian of the senate. have a great evening. >> coming up, a discussion about the legacy of president ronald reagan. later, remarks from the author on the politics of homosexuality.
>> the minute that the wall street firms were in the business of harvesting middle- class to lower middle-class americans for their home equity value in making loans to them against it, there was a natural risk of abuse. >> sunday, michael lewis on the subprime mortgage crisis. his latest is "the big short." he is also the author of several other books. 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> tomorrow, clark ervin talks about airline security and good do not fly list.
representative don edwards discusses midterm politics. and william minnix president of the american association of homes and services for the aging. live it 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> up next, a discussion about the future of american culture and the impact of president reagan on contemporary things. this is two hours, 30 minutes.
[no audio] >> speakers this morning. each year i leave thinking no way can we talk that one. each year they get better. so, your presence here signifies among charles kessler's distinctions are two of extraordinary significance. editor of america's best-selling addition of the federalist papers and co-editor with the late william f. buckley of "keeping the tablets." but how did charles get there
from the coal fields of west virginia? in 1973 as a 16 year-old reporter for his high school newspaper, he sent a letter to william f. buckley asking for an interview when he came to speak at a nearby college. well, mr. buckley never responded until just the day before his speech when the western union telegrams arrived at charles' doorstep telling charles to me mr. buckley after the lecture. charles got more than interview. mr. buckley became his bridge from the oak hill coal fields to the confines of the harvard yard. the rest is history. today charles serves as the distinguished prof. of government at claremont college, and editor of the claremont
review of books. his articles on contemporary politics appear in open with the wall street journal" and other newspapers and journals. let's welcome to the region to university platform william f. buckley's longtime friend of 35 years, charles kessler, to address ronald reagan and modern liberalism. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is a great pleasure to be here today. after i met bill buckley at the charleston airport, he offered to write me a letter of recommendation to yell. somehow i parlay that into a letter of recommendation to both the hill and harvard.
-- to both yale and harvard. it was also a very good decision besides being a sign of my rambunctious this. it allowed me to meet a group of conservative intellectuals who were then at harvard, no longer at harvard, and a steady there when studying was good. [laughter] my thing this afternoon is about the politics of the future of american culture, particularly about the relation between ronald reagan's administration, and his unfinished agenda today. and the future of american culture. the central conservative truce that patrick moynihan once wrote is that it is a "culture, not politics, that determines the success of the society. the central liberal, he added,
is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself ." there is wisdom in that dictum, but it suffers from two aspects. first, it leaves unclear what culture is and where politics comes from, or it fails to put culture and politics in the context of nature, including human nature. second, the statement is politically mischievous and so far as it implies that politics is the liberal location, and culture -- whenever that means, is the conservative one. it implies that liberalism change culture for the better, and conservative ones are there to change it for the better. conservatives are left permanently plane second fiddle.
[laughter] moynihan's is a very political reading of the relationship, favoring the left and turning the right and to conservators' of liberal innovations. those of the old sort. this is also the point of another. in his recent book open" the death of conservatism" he condemns contemporary conservatism. because it attempts what he calls a counterrevolution against liberalism, rather than accommodating itself to liberalism's changes. this seems to be also what president obama means by post- partisanship. it translates as the following message to conservatives --
lose already. [laughter] so that you can join hands with liberals in administering histories new arrangements. ronald reagan was a very different kind of conservative from the one that sam or barack obama, or even daniel patrick moynihan preferred. reagan tickets range from the american revolution, facing squarely the paradox that american conservatism starts and ends with revolutionary action on behalf of a set of principles. principles that come from nature and nature's god, from culture, however much a culture may be needed to transmit and our principles. in fact, in his 1985 state of the union address after his victory in the 1984, reagan made explicit what had been implicit in his politics all long. that he hopes to achieve what he
called "the second american revolution." he meant to change american politics, and by so doing to change released began to change american culture. if i sound more conservative to say restore american culture, which is mostly white reagan had in mind, but to restore and and help the culture back to health is perforce to change it. the very notion of a second american revolution implies that politics can change culture. mostly, conservatives do not like it, or lease profess not to. they like to accuse the left of politicizing our culture, imposing a tierney of political correctness on everything from jokes to marriage laws. the rights point is that culture should be above, or protected from the political order, that
art, litton, and private life should be shielded from political encouragement. the job of politics and according to most conservatives should be to conserve culture in the sense of people's evolved sincsentiments and with blood. politicians grow out of an be subordinate to culture. not try to invent or reinvented. whatever good census contained in these reservations, a conservative should be aware of talking themselves into being second-class citizens, according to which liberals would be free to change culture, but conservatives are duty bound to preserve it. this is not a fair or wise bargain. it is cultural determinism for one party owning, freedom for the other.